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Campus Now

Spring Verdure Issue (May.2015)

Landscape of Waseda
Cover illustration by Miwa Aoki (watercolor painter, 1986 graduate of the School of Letters, Arts and Sciences II)

Resurrecting the base of "Theater of Waseda"

In autumn of 1966, in the midst of school disturbances, a small space was born on Waseda Nanmon Street.
In later years, the internationally-known director Tadashi Suzuki would cooperate with playwright Minoru Betsuyaku and others from Waseda University to form the theatrical group, Waseda Small Theater.
The group gave performances on the 2nd floor of the cafe where they were regular customers. Despite only being big enough to accommodate 100 audience members, the performances were always sold out.
Afterwards, the Waseda Small Theater produced countless theater professionals, opening a new era in the tradition of Waseda Theater which can be traced back to Shoyo Tsubouchi and Hogetsu Shimamura.
From 1997, the theater was heavily used as a student facility of Waseda University, but had to be closed in 2012 due to lack of earthquake resistance while many people regretted this close.
However, this spring, nearly half a century after its birth, the building was resurrected under the name of "Waseda Small Theater Drama-kan."
We aim to establish a renowned base for inheriting the theater philosophy of Suzuki and his group, and for spreading theater culture throughout the world.